Yesterday at work I overheard part of a consversation that hurt my brain.

Customer: It's so warm today!

Worker 1: Must be global warming.

Worker 2: Global warming isn't real.

Worker 1: Yes, it is.  Go back to school.

Worker 2: Do you believe in God?

Worker 1: Yeah.  Yeah. 

Worker 2:  [looks skeptical]

Worker 1: Yes, I do. Why would I lie about that?

To my great dismay, I missed the part where Worker 2 explains how his belief in God conteracts the Greenhouse Effect.  It kind of shocked me that they would talk about something politicized, like climate change, at work.  I was blown away when Worker 2 brought up God. 

Has anyone else encountered this kind of God-trumps-climate-change thinking?  What do you think the Climate Change Skeptic/Theist would have said next?  For my edification and general amusement, please tell me, how does this work?

Tags: Change, Climate, Global, Warming, change, climate, denial, unprofessional, work

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I have not had the pleasure of having or overhearing a conversation like your example.  If I have, I have apparently blotted it out of conscious memory.  It reminds me of another conversation:

I was hiking in a local state park.  I knew where I was going because I had been lost there before, so when I found two college-age girls lost at the same spot at which I was previously lost I offered to hike out with them.  

We were hiking along for several miles, pleasantly discussing a variety of topics.  One of them was majoring in occupational therapy and since I am an occupational therapist we had a lot to talk about.

Some time later the other girl said she was going to a church thing at Yellowstone National Park that upcoming summer.  Without thinking about it, I said, "Well let's hope the supervolcano doesn't blow while you are there.  Of course, even if it blows while you aren't there it won't make much difference because it will wipe out America's bread basket and likely make living anywhere on the planet difficult.  Of course, in order for any Earth-based species to contonue, we have to get off the planet because even if the Yellowstone supervolcano doesn't get us, something else likely will, as has been the history of life on the planet."

She said, "What?  There's a supervolcano under Yellowstone?" with a look of sheer terror and incomprehension on her face.  

I said, "You don't know anything about the supervolcano under the entire park?"


"What about mass extinctions through geological time?":


"Uhh... umm... chances are it won't happen in our lifetimes anyway, so you should just go and enjoy yourself!."

I forgot that I was more cynical, a lot older, and apparently much more scientifically knowledgeable than this girl.  I felt like a heel.  The conversation was a bit awkward after that but eventually we started talking about safer topics.  They were relieved when we finally got glimmers of the cars in the parking lot, both because they were safely out of the woods,and probably because they could get away from the helpful but terrifying Doomsday Hiker.

What a great name for a hike.

The Doomsday Hike in Yellowstone.

Sounds like a Syffy channel movie.

I think I might have to change my name.

Oh, Diane, what a gem of a conversation!

Raining on parades I see!

I remember an overnight party I went to late 80's. I was rather boored, and still working on my 'coming out' as a strait nerd, so had seeming limited social skills. I was sitting near by a couple, the guy trying to come on to a rather charming young gal, and the gal asking a question, 'so why can't I see all the stars?'. The poor fellow was stumbling rather badly with answering the question, so I leaned over and said, 'most of the stars are under your feet, the cone above is very small in reference to the actual sky around the planet'. The couple got up and left, and I continued being lonely till much latter. After about two hours, I ran into the guy again, and he suggested that 'I shove my opinion, and thanks for the f--king help'. I figure, he had made out to be a fool, and had limited genetic chances. They gal did not seek me out, maybe I used too many 'big words'....;p(. 

I recall many times being about 5 miles offshore in a boat watching the concrete and smog of downtown Miami slowly form it's own afternoon weather. I'd call it "Local Warming". I guess god allows that kind of thing.

Is the annual mean temperature raising?


Conclusive Evidence:

Pictures of glaciers and the polar ice packs over the last several decades.  This is publicly available information to anyone.

People can argue about cause, but not about the annual mean warming over the past several decades.

Whatever your position  is doesn't matter, we are all going to experience the effect of Global Warming.

I got some land in Florida for sale if anyone is interested.

People can argue about cause, but not about the annual mean warming over the past several decades.

The international scientific community and the IPCC as of 2007 had determined based on a vast corpus of supporting evidence is that human activity is "very likely" (90% probability) the cause of global climate change.

Powerful commercial and ideological interests are undermining public confidence in that conclusion by spreading deeply dishonest claims that the case still hasn't been made and "controversy" exists within the scientific community as to the cause. 

Fox News and Big Oil certainly can argue about the cause. That doesn't mean they have a credible argument.

Fox News and Big Oil certainly can argue about the cause. That doesn't mean they have a credible argument.


But knowing won't change the outcome, the global "we" will continue to burn hydrocarbons, it's still the cheapest form of energy and that fact is key.

But knowing won't change the outcome, 

Of course it will Gregg. Public concerns over rising costs, environmental impact, and geopolitical sources of fossil fuels are what drive public demand for conservation, relatively cleaner fossil fuels, and alternative energy. The oil and coal industries have (massive) profit motives to convince the public such measures are unnecessary. 

the global "we" will continue to burn hydrocarbons, it's still the cheapest form of energy and that fact is key.

They will until something cheaper comes along. Fusion reactor power plants have a good chance to become a reality by 2035 or so. After that, we'll probably end up with a global power distribution network akin to the global Internet, rather than oil tankers. Seawater will do as a fuel source, but Helium 3 from moonbase Gingrich would be better. 

Imagine what would happen if ITER and DEMO were treated like a Manhattan Project: an emergency push to develop a radical new source of energy that would drastically alter the global economic and political landscape in US favor. Imagine all the new jobs and resulting prosperity that would result from the effort. If the public support existed, it could happen.

Instead, we have a lukewarm international effort to develop fusion technology at a 'whenever' pace. Meanwhile, the political right and their wealthy owners in Big Oil have convinced a huge segment of the public that climate change is a myth and we have no choice but to keep burning fossil fuels. It's good for the oil and coal industries but not so good for everyone else. 

Heh, Moonbase Gingrich.  I was discussing the global helium "shortage" with Worker 1 about a month ago when he asked me, "why don't they just make more of it?"  I told him it's an element.*  "Oh." He says.  My boss chimes in and says, "they're gonna have to go to Mars or the Moon to get more." All I could think was, 'head-palm, head-palm, head-palm.'

*Now, I know diddly squat about chemistry (I mostly slept through AP Chem, 7 years ago), but I figure elements are hella impossible for humans to make or require so much energy it's just not feasible to knock particles around into your own newly minted gold.  Otherwise, I'm sure the HSN would be hocking it at a discounted rate.


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